In Purgatory bay, author Bryan Gruley has created a deliciously intricate and complex puzzle that will keep readers guessing from beginning to end while furiously turning the pages along the way.
Twelve years ago, Jubilee Rathman's family was brutally murdered by Detroit mobsters who had ensnared Jubilee's father into laundering money for them and who then slaughtered the family and set their home aflame, believing that Jubilee's father had ratted them out to the authorities and to two newspaper reporters. Only Jubilee and her brother Joshua, who was badly burned in the attack, survived.
Jubilee, who was once a model student and a star high school soccer player bound for the Ivy League, has spent the years since the attack plotting her revenge against those she blames for the deaths of her father, mother and sister and for the maiming of her brother. She has reinvented herself and her brother, and she’s built a large, fortress-like complex on Purgatory Bay, protected by the latest technological devices and administered by a digital assistant named Frances, who is basically Alexa on steroids.
Jubilee sets her plan into motion on a weekend when a prestigious girls’ hockey tournament is scheduled to be played in neighboring Bleak Harbor. She has used the tournament as an opportunity to draw into her web Michaela “Mikey” Deming who, as a young reporter, wrote a story that Jubilee believes betrayed her father and put him in the sights of the mob killers. Her other targets include a member of the crime family that attacked her family, another reporter, a former cop and others. But Jubilee intends to hit most of these people indirectly in a way that will cause them to suffer the same pain that she has endured since that night twelve years ago.
As I suggested above, this is a very intricately plotted novel, and Gruley reveals the vital information slowly, in bits and pieces, as the story progresses. For much of the book, the reader is unsure exactly what is happening or why, and the tension builds to a great climax where everything finally falls into place. Gruley has demonstrated his considerable talent in four previous books, the Starvation Lake series and last year’s Bleak Harbor, but Purgatory Bay is his best yet and is sure to win him large numbers of new fans.